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Sabanci Holding chairman predicts good times ahead

Guler Sabanci (pictured), chairman of Sabanci Holding, has issued an upbeat New Year's address to employees of the family-owned group by claiming revenues will grow by a massive 21% and operating profit will increase by 28%.

The Turkey-based group, which owns 70 companies and is predicting revenues to reach $16 billion this year, has invested approximately $900 million in its main lines of business.

"We will continue to create value for all our business partners by being a fast-growing and profitable group," she said, "and we will gain a sustainable competitive advantage through innovation in every field."

However, she noted that the business must be "vigilant and cautious" in the face of national and international developments, as the "optimism" generated in 2006/7 gives way to "ambiguities" in 2008. "At the moment many issues are on a knife edge, and it is difficult to predict which way they will fall," she said.

In particular she highlighted consumer pessimism; the uneasiness in financial markets; the effects of the elimination of the quotas applied to China by the EU; and whether oil prices, and hence overall energy prices, will cross the psychological barrier of $100.

Sabanchi has interests in banking, textiles, food  and tobacco, and employs over 50,000 people around the world. "As always, I am sure that working together toward a common goal, we will achieve the success we deserve," she concluded.

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